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A short video of an injured German shepherd who writhes in pain trying to move his water bowl toward him may seem heartbreaking.
But in context, it is as uplifting as it gets.
The dog was pulled from the Woolsey Fire by a crew of first responders from Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control.
“He’s finally standing up and drinking water,” said Darlene Geekie, founder of the Little Angels Project, the group caring for the dog. “He has third-degree burns on his feet. It’s a highly sensitive area. .... Today he stood up a bit; he’s improving.”
His story sounds like something out of a movie. Allegedly, rescuers watched as the shepherd sprinted for his life through a field of embers and flames on Friday, Nov. 9, in Malibu.
The dog’s efforts reportedly were soon thwarted by a wooden, slotted fence. That’s when his rescuers stepped in and pulled him from the danger.
The crew brought the middle-aged shepherd to a pop-up veterinary clinic run by the Little Angels Project at the Pierce College evacuation center.
There, vets treated the dog for the burns to his paws and other areas of his body.
“He was in pretty bad shape,” said Skye Swan, who was volunteering for Little Angels. “We put him on pain meds. ... Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a microchip or collar, which could have come off. He’s a healthy dog, looks well cared for. ... There’s gotta be a family looking for him.”
A few days later, the care from Little Angels was paying off, and the dog was finally able to stand and was drinking and eating.
Now, the organization is hoping to reunite him — as well as other rescued animals — with his owner.
Darlene Geekie, founder of the Little Angels Project and Veterinary Angels Medical Center in Agoura Hills, and company acted quickly to open the free, pop-up clinic at Pierce College. She is currently caring for five animals injured in the Woolsey Fire: the German shepherd, two badly burned cats, two burned chickens and a swan with a broken leg.
“Everybody is improving,” she said. “One kitty is pretty bad off. It’s really day by day.”
The group has been aided by donations, including a product for burn victims called Kruuse Manuka AD, which is a balm infused with honey.
“It’s working great on the animals,” she said.
The Little Angels Project and Veterinary Angels also donated medical supplies to Malibu Coast Animal Hospital and is looking help more area veterinary clinics if it can.
Photos of the displaced animals can be found on the Little Angels social media pages: @thelittleangelsproject on Facebook and Instagram.
If you recognize any animals, contanct the group at, (818) 865-1800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To make monetary donations to the Little Angels Project, visit www.littleangelsproject.org.
Veterinary clinics in need of donated supplies may email email@example.com.